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NCAA Football Big 10 FootballIndiana Hoosiers

Indiana Hoosiers Season Preview: Defense

David Cooper Greg Heban Indiana Hoosiers

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

When looking back on the 2012 Big Ten football season for the Indiana Hoosiers football team, a lot of the blame for their 4-8 overall record can be placed upon the defense. While the offense put up solid numbers all season, the defense was letting up more than they could score each and every game.

The Hoosiers were dead last in many defensive categories in the conference, finishing last overall in total defense after giving up an astonishing 514.8 yards per game, last in  scoring defense, giving up 41 points per game, and last overall in both passing defense and rushing defense.

When you are putting up numbers that are this bad as a defense, the only way to go is up for head coach Kevin Wilson and his defense. The bright side is the defense last year was extremely young across the board and many guys are returning.

While guys like Larry Black and Adam Replogle will certainly be missed on the defensive front for the Hoosiers, look for guys like Ryan Phillips, Bobby Richardson, and Zack Shaw to boost the production on the defensive line.

Linebacker David Cooper looks to lead the linebacker corps for the Hoosiers after racking up 58 tackles last year in a young linebacking group. Chase Hobbler and Griffen Dahlstrom also are set to be key contributors to that level of defense.

In the secondary, Greg Heben is one of the best defensive backs in the entire conference. He plays next to Mark Murphy, and they make up a very good tackling safety group. Corners Kenny Mullen and Antonio Marshall will also look to make a name for themselves.

The only way to go is up for the Indiana defense, and with veteran leadership from players like Haben to pair up with the young talent on the defensive side of the ball, look for the Hoosier defense to drastically improve and hopefully be able to match the production of their high-powered offense.

Erik Sargent is a college football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Erik_Sargent, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.